From “Barf Soccer” to Brolly fights, Pat Spillane’s best Sunday game moments

RTÉ pundit Pat Spillane has announced he will be leaving The Sunday Game later this month.

For the past three decades, the Kerry football legend has lit up Irish screens with his in-depth analysis, humor and uncompromising style.

As one of the most cited pundits in the show’s history, with phrases like “analysis by paralysis,” Spillane had and still has the ability to sum up – from his perspective – every era of football in just a few short sentences.

Spillane will make his final appearance in the studio as part of the All-Ireland Football Final coverage on Sunday 24th July.

Here are just some of his most memorable moments:

“puke football”

As a football purist, the Templenoe native couldn’t stomach some of the changes that the game began in the 2000s. First taken from Tyrone in its most extreme sense, the emphasis was placed on initiating backplayer, sweeper, swarm defense, and counterattack play.

After the Kingdom suffered a crushing defeat by Mickey Harte’s men in the 2003 semifinals, Spillane delivered a never-ending diatribe, describing Tyrone’s style of play as “puke-football.”

information vacuum

Last year’s Championship semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in Tyrone’s squad. As is usual in GAA camps, only snippets of information were ever really revealed, and prior to this game, direct-speaking Spillane voiced his grievances about the situation and what he called an “information vacuum”.

Spillane vs. Brolly

Spillane vs. Brolly was the RTÉ panditry equivalent, or Rocky vs. Apollo; often based on respect, but always with devastating blows.

The two have gone toe-to-toe several times over the years, but on one memorable night in 2017, they debate the merits of a column Brolly wrote on Sunday Independently, on the legacy of another great Kerry Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper.

Throughout the discussion, and much to Brolly’s annoyance, Spillane breaks off his arguments by repeating, “He digs.”

Ringside commentator

During the 1996 All-Ireland Final, a notoriously ugly fight ensued between the players of Meath and Mayo.

That night, then-host Micheal Lyster turned Spillane off as his ringside commentator at Sunday’s game.

Spillane, who isn’t as adept at sweet science as Jimmy McGee, explained what happened in his own words.

“Here comes the first punch where Ray Dempsey beats Darren Fay. Anthony Finnerty comes in just to finish him off a bit and gives him an elbow touch… This is where John Casey steps in to realign John McDermott’s head a bit,” he said.

“Here’s where Liam McHale comes in, jumps in and there’s a wonderful gap; he doesn’t hit anyone at all and goes straight through.”

“I’m out of the gap, I’m riding into the sunset”

Spillane announced his retirement today, with his signature blend of modesty and humor, adding that he is making way for the next generation of panelists.

“I’ve had 30 years, 30 great years. 30 years in the profession is a long time. I won’t go away completely because I’ll still be writing sunday world for the next few years and still bugging people about GAA.”

He added: “There is one vacancy island of love since Jack Keating left, I couldn’t make it as bad as he did.”

Pat Spillane will discuss his reasons for fully retiring tomorrow sunday world. From “Barf Soccer” to Brolly fights, Pat Spillane’s best Sunday game moments

Fry Electronics Team

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